Community Gardens

COVID-19 Update:

  • The health and safety of staff and residents is our top priority. All community gardens (both allotment and collective) are operating following advice provided by York Region Public Health and the Province including, maintaining physical distance of two metres between people at all times, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you are sick.
  • All plots at the City-run community allotment garden at Phyllis Rawlinson Park have been allocated for 2020. Email naturalenvironment@richmondhill.ca if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.
  • If you are interested in joining a community-run collective garden, you can find garden locations and contact information below.

Community gardens provide residents with a number of social and environmental benefits including opportunities to engage in a healthy recreational activity, spend time with friends and neighbours, meet new people, grow and/or learn about growing nutritious food, as well as ornamental and native plants.

Allotment Gardens

Allotment gardens are divided into individual plots that are available for rent. The City currently operates one allotment garden.

Phyllis Rawlinson Park allotment garden - 11715 Leslie Street

Plots are rented in the garden on a seasonal and yearly basis for non-commercial gardening of flowers, fruits and vegetables. 

This is a great option if you don't have a space for a garden at home. The Community Garden is the perfect place to connect with nature and to spend time with friends and neighbours.

Types of plots

Seasonal plots can be leased from mid-May to October 31 and are available in three sizes:

  • Quarter plot (10 feet x 10 feet)
  • Half plot (10 feet x 20 feet)
  • Full plot (20 feet x 20 feet)

Perennial plots are only available in half and full size plots, and can be leased from May to May (following year). 

2021 plot rental fees

Plot size Senior/Student Adult
Quarter $12.43 $19.21
Half $24.86 $38.42
Full $49.72 $76.84

Prices include HST.

Services

Gardeners are responsible for maintaining their garden plots throughout the season, including watering, pruning, harvesting, and pest/disease control. We offer the following services to gardeners:

  • On-site water and disposal bins
  • Spring bed preparation (soil tilling) for seasonal plots only

Availability

  • Offers of renewal are sent to existing gardeners in late January/early February
  • Existing gardeners must confirm their acceptance of renewal in February in order to guarantee they can continue to lease the same garden plot
  • Interested gardeners must email us to request a plot
  • If a plot is not available residents will be added to a waiting list and contacted when a plot becomes available.

Registration update: we are currently at capacity, but the waiting list is open.

Collective Gardens

Collective gardens are run and maintained by a community group and/or organization. They can take many different forms dependent on the needs and capacity of each group. Decisions are made collectively by the group; the garden may be wholly communal or include some separated plots. Collective gardens can be as small as a raised planter outside of a community centre or as large as a community vegetable garden in a park. Creative ideas are welcome.

Applying to start a collective garden on public land

If you have a group or are part of an organization that has an idea for a collective garden, email naturalenvironment@richmondhill.ca for an application package. Staff will work with you to help develop your application. 

Groups/organizations approved to start a collective garden on public land are expected to:

  • Create and adhere to a transparent governance and membership structure for the garden
  • Appoint a Garden Coordinator to be the main point of contact with the City
  • Create a garden plan that includes goals, activities and budget for the garden
  • Coordinate all activities, events and volunteers for the garden
  • Provide all plant material
  • Conduct all planting, weeding, harvesting, watering, mulching, pruning, cleanup
  • Follow all guidelines, rules and regulations set out in the Collective Garden Handbook and in a Collective Garden Agreement between the City and the garden group/organization
  • Secure additional funding for the garden as needed

Approved collective gardens may receive assistance from the City for some or all of the following:

  • Site selection, public consultation and development of Collective Garden Agreements
  • Initial construction and site preparation (ie. clearing site, building garden beds, fencing)
  • Garbage and compost receptacles
  • Signage
  • Water hook-up where feasible and ongoing cost for water
  • Garbage and organics pick-up
  • Tilling and soil amendments (including provision of wood chips)
  • Promotion
  • Support for groups who choose to apply for additional funding from grants

Collective gardens in Richmond Hill

Forster Collective Garden (Phyllis Rawlinson Park) – 11715 Leslie Street

2019 is the first year of operation allowing for an open canvas to create a space that is active, healthy and thriving for all who will garden. This garden differs from allotment-style gardens in that members not only focus their efforts on their plots, but also involve themselves collectively, participating in maintaining common areas and a Donation Garden.

Gladys McLatchy Memorial Garden – 10268 Yonge Street

This garden has been located at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts since 2009. Planned in tandem with the City, the garden is the Horticultural Society’s gift to Richmond Hill in memory of the horticultural contributions of Past RHGHS President Gladys McLatchy, and includes peonies that were originally in her garden.

  • How to get involved: Contact the RHGHS to inquire about becoming a member.

Harmony Garden (behind Mill Pond Gallery) – 314 Mill Street

The Harmony Garden was planted in 2018 as a pollinator and beautification garden for residents to enjoy. Many of the plants were donated from local backyard gardens.

Heritage Centre Herb Garden – 19 Church Street

This garden is planted with a variety of labelled herbs that residents can explore and gain inspiration for their own gardens. Many of the herbs were donated from the private gardens of RHGHS members.

  • Planted and maintained by: Richmond Hill Garden and Horticulture Society (RHGHS)
  • How to get involved: Contact the RHGHS to inquire about becoming a member.

Hill House Hospice Garden – 36 Wright Street

Society volunteers take care of the flower beds, providing beauty for hospice patients, caregivers and visitors. A Daphne shrub was planted here in 2007 in memory of Past-President, Daphne Straumann.

  • Planted and maintained by: Richmond Hill Garden and Horticulture Society (RHGHS)
  • How to get involved: Contact the RHGHS to inquire about becoming a member.

Millennium Garden (Mill Pond Park south) - 321 Mill Street

Established in 2001, this garden is in a high traffic area adjacent to Mill Pond Park and contains a wide selection of perennials. Richmond Hill Garden and Horticulture Society (RHGHS) volunteers maintain the garden weekly through the growing season.

  • Planted and maintained by: Richmond Hill Garden and Horticulture Society 
  • How to get involved: Contact the RHGHS to inquire about becoming a member.

Sussex Park Vegetable Garden

This garden, established in 2018, provides a safe space for program participants to learn new skills while accessing nutritious, organic produce. Harvested vegetables are also donated to families in need through the Salvation Army Richmond Hill.

  • Planted and maintained by: Salvation Army Richmond Hill
  • How to get involved: Visit the Salvation Army Richmond Hill office at 55 Newkirk road to sign up and become a volunteer worker or contact Mary at 905-737-0496, ext. 114.

If you have any questions, please email naturalenvironment@richmondhill.ca.